14 Oct 2016

Michael Laws wins Otago council seat by five votes

3:50 pm on 14 October 2016

Former Whanganui mayor Michael Laws says winning a seat on the Otago Regional Council - by a margin of five votes - is a bittersweet victory.

Michael Laws

Michael Laws Photo: Supplied

The controversial former MP and broadcaster, who now lives in Cromwell, ran for the council in the Dunstan ward.

The final result was announced today, after all special votes were counted.

Mr Laws, who was the mayor of Whanganui for six years, has said he wanted to re-energise the council.

Preliminary results last Saturday put fellow candidate Gary Kelliher ahead by 79 votes, and at that point Mr Laws conceded defeat.

However final results announced today mean Mr Kelliher will miss out .

In a Facebook post today, Mr Laws said the victory was bittersweet, because he admired and respected Mr Kelliher, who he said had endured the agony of the waiting process with him.

Nelson councillor back in

Meanwhile, in Nelson, a councillor voted off last weekend has been returned in the final result.

Kate Fulton said she was delighted but it was a more conservative council than she had known in the past two terms.

A controversial roading project now has majority council support, while Ms Fulton was part of the slim majority opposed to it previously.

She said working together as a team was going to be a challenge, but she looked forward to building on her previous work supporting sustainable development options for Nelson.

Richard Hills extends North Shore win

The result of a close race for an Auckland Council seat has also been confirmed.

Richard Hills has extended his winning margin in the North Shore Ward to 128 votes.

The final turnout in Auckland is expected to be 38.5 percent, once adjusted for special votes.